Monday, November 22, 2010

Ravens -1.5 & Giants -2
This week BAL faces off against an up and coming TB team.  Up and coming might be a slap in the face to TB fans, but let's get real here.  The Bucs lose to good teams and beat the bad ones.  Unfortunately for them, BAL is a playoff team.  Look for BAL to sustain drives with Rice/McGahee and pick their spots in the air.  TB isn't great at pressuring the QB so Flacco should be able to complete some deep balls.   I just don't see how TB can win this game - even in the so-called 'parity NFL'.  BAL consistently get more points from long drives, take far less penalties per game, and dominate time of possession more often.   TB will have trouble sustaining drives themselves, and even if they do BAL has a stingy red zone defense.   This means TB will need to win the game with field goals.  That's not happening.  BAL has also had a few extra days off after playing on Thursday night  the week before.  

The G-men are coming off a tough divisional game and now must take on the Jekyll and Hyde Jaguars.   This emotional let down will effect NY whether they admit it or not and they also lost Nicks for a few weeks to injury.  He joins third down specialist Steve Smith on the sidelines, but even after accounting for all these factors NY still matchup very favorably against JAX.   Eli will have more than enough time to find the open guy and the running game will once again play a significant role.   JAX is god awful bad in red zone/third down defense and rarely win the turnover battle.  This is not good if you are facing a feisty NY defense.   JAX will need to rely heavily on MJD to sustain drives and put them in scoring position because they are in big trouble in the air.  NY will get a lot of pressure on Garrard and make life miserable for him on third and long.   I can see NY covering the standard spread, but they are in a great spot to tease down.  Prediction: Bank BAL -1.5 & NYG -2.5.

Ravens -1.5 & PIT PK
I have added this as a late teaser.  I really like BAL to win this game by more than 2 points and PIT have a significant matchup advantage over the Bills.  I like PIT in a teaser more than a straight pick because BUF isn't the garbage team that everybody think they are.  They fight hard and play a well-disciplined game.  BUF has been very good in the red zone since Fitzpatrick has taken over and they still do a solid job against the pass.  At the same time, PIT should dominate this game on the ground - like most teams do against BUF.   PIT have steadily improved their offensive categories since Ben has returned and they still lead the league in turnover differential.  Laying 6 points on the road is tough in any situation, but as a pick em I'll buy in.  Prediction: Bank BAL -1.5 & PIT PK.